What are the benefits of a Sauna ?

So, what are the possible health benefits of the sauna? Here is a list of 10 possibilities.

  1. Stress relief. In Finland, the traditional sauna is semi-dark and quiet. Conversation is allowed, but it is poor etiquette to bring up controversial or political topics. The children are taught to act as they would in church. The point of using a sauna is to refresh your soul as well as your body. You should leave the sauna feeling completely relaxed.

  2. Easing pain. The high heat will increase the blood circulation to your joints and muscles and reduce inflammation. This can be very beneficial after hard physical labor or an intensive workout. The sauna is becoming more popular with athletes after a vigorous training session or competition.

  3. Arthritis relief. As in the above example, individuals with disease processes that cause chronic pain may find that the high heat of sauna can provide significant pain relief.

  4. Heart health. A study done in Finland of over 2000 men over 20 years old found a significant decrease in heart attacks in those men who used the sauna 4-7 times per week, in comparison to those who only used the sauna once per week. In addition, the men who used the sauna more frequently had a lower death rate from any cardiac event. More studies are needed to determine if the health benefit is related to improved cardiac muscle function or if it’s related to the decrease in stress.

  5. Lower blood pressure. This can be both a benefit or a risk. If you typically have high blood pressure, the sauna can be helpful. There is evidence that using the sauna regularly over time can result in the permanent lowering of blood pressure into the normal range. However, if your normal blood pressure is lower, use caution when in the sauna. Leave the sauna if you are feeling light-headed. Always talk to your doctor about saunas before trying one.

  6. Skin problems. The dry heat of sauna can help some skin problems, including psoriasis.

  7. Decreased dementia. A study done in Finland of over 2000 men showed a significantly lower rate of dementia in those men who used the sauna 4-7 times per week. Further study is needed to determine if the sauna has truly lowered the rate of dementia or if those afflicted by dementia typically do not use the sauna.

  8. Cleansing the skin. The high heat of the sauna and the resulting profuse sweating that occurs will flush out the pores, resulting in a softer appearance to the skin.

  9. Improved sleep. There is some evidence that the use of a sauna can improve sleep. The increased release of endorphins during sauna use results in a much deeper and calmer sleep experience.

  10. Cure a cold. Well, maybe not cure a cold, but certainly lessen the symptoms. The high heat and steam of the traditional sauna can relieve sinus congestion and bring needed relief to the sufferer.

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